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2-min read

Boris Johnson's Move to Suspend UK Parliament has Reminded People of 'The Handmaid's Tale'

Margaret Atwood's 'The Handmaid's Tale' is set in a totalitarian regime that overthrows the democracy in the United States and implements strict controls at the cost of basic freedom and liberties of its subjects by controlling women's fertility.

News18.com

Updated:August 30, 2019, 1:41 PM IST
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Boris Johnson's Move to Suspend UK Parliament has Reminded People of 'The Handmaid's Tale'
The prorogation of Parliament to hasten no-deal Brexit reminded many of the part in 'The Handmaid's Tale' when the the government decided to suspend the Constitution | Image credit: Reuters/Twitter
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When truth starts to reflect fictional novels about dystopic political systems, is it time to start worrying? People in the UK have decided to go the other way and use the work of fiction itself to critique PM Boris Johnson's recent decision to suspend Parliament for six weeks to achieve a swift, no-deal Brexit, as promised.

However, the move, which has caused a series of defections within the Conservatives, has evoked outrage from many quarters in the UK, including within party ranks.

The people of UK have responded by pointing out the similarity between the Johnson's move and The Handmaid's tale, written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood.

The 1985 classic which recently spawned an award-winning and ongoing television series, spoke about a totalitarian regime that overthrows the democracy in the United States and implements strict controls at the cost of basic freedom and liberties of its subjects by controlling fertility through subjugation of women.

While the situation in UK is not really the same, the prorogation of Parliament to hasten no-deal Brexit reminded many of the part in 'The Handmaid's Tale' when the the government decided to suspend the Constitution.

"That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets.

People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on,"

These lines were shared widely by netizens on social media as part of the outrage against Johnson's decision, which analysts fear may, in fact, ensure a speedy Brexit but in turn also affect important supplies such as medicine and food.

While UK many not quite have become the Republic of Gilead, these tweets can provide a sense of the fears and concerns of some at recent developments.

Opposition was left scrambling after the surprise announcement that came earlier in the week, and parties together came out with a joint statement to oppose the prorogation. The following was posted by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter:

Meanwhile, Johnson has maintained that the UK would leave the European Union by Oct 31, deal or no-deal.

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